THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

44

TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2008

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

Requesting TUBERCULOSIS Screening and Treatment for Residents of Public HOUSing and Emergency Transitional Shelter Housing.

 

 


WHEREAS, under the terms of the Compacts of Free Association (COFA or Compact) with the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau, citizens from the Freely Associated States have the right to freely travel to, and work and reside in, the United States without durational limit; and

 

WHEREAS, a significant number COFA migrants in the State of Hawaii arrive with serious medical care needs, one of the most significant of which is screening for and treatment of tuberculosis (TB); and

 

WHEREAS, a significant number of COFA migrants in the State are also in need of housing assistance, and may reside in public housing and emergency transitional shelter housing; and

 

WHEREAS, TB is a highly infectious communicable disease that can be transmitted from person to person by physical contact or through airborne particles, especially in situations in which an infected person is in close proximity or physical contact with other individuals; and

 

WHEREAS, TB is a health risk to all persons, and not exclusive to COFA migrants; and

 

WHEREAS, emergency transitional shelter housing is often provided in a congregate setting in which the residents are in close proximity and physical contact with each other, with limited privacy and with little separation between personal spaces; and

 

WHEREAS, public housing, as distinct from emergency transitional shelter housing, is often provided in dwellings in which large numbers of people reside together in close proximity and physical contact with each other; and

 

WHEREAS, public housing and emergency transitional shelter housing provided by private agencies often includes a requirement that a person provide a TB clearance before entering the facility as a resident; and

 

WHEREAS, the State of Hawaii, through the Hawaii Public Housing Authority (HPHA), currently provides public housing and emergency transitional shelter housing to qualified needy families, many of whom are COFA migrants; and

 

WHEREAS, the HPHA does not currently require a person to provide a TB clearance prior to entering a facility as a resident; and

 

WHEREAS, the State Department of Health provides TB screening and treatment services to needy individuals, Hawaii residents and visitors alike, including COFA migrants, in various locations throughout the islands; and

 

WHEREAS, one of the tasks set out for the COFA Task Force, convened by the Department of the Attorney General pursuant to Senate Resolution No. 142, S.D. 1, 2007, was to investigate the medical, educational, housing, and social services needs of migrants from Freely Associated States including the impact these services needs have on schools, and to make recommendations regarding how to plan for and coordinate the provision of services to this population; and

 

WHEREAS, the COFA Task Force has identified health care and housing as two issues that are of concern to the COFA migrant community, and has recommended coordinating the provision of services by state agencies whenever possible; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, that the Department of Health and the HPHA are requested to collaborate in:

 

(1) Determining whether and to what extent the imposition of TB screening and treatment should be considered as an appropriate and effective public health practice and as a condition before any person enters public housing and emergency transitional shelter housing, as a resident;

 

(2) Determining whether and to what extent screening and treatment for TB could be provided within public housing projects and emergency transitional shelter housing, and in conjunction with other services provided to residents of public housing, regardless of whether it is made a requirement for residents; and

 

(3) Implementing TB screening and treatment services to the extent the agencies determine it is possible; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, the Director of Health, the Executive Director of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, the Attorney General, and the members of the COFA Task Force, as convened by the Department of the Attorney General.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

TB Screening & Treatment; Public Housing